Kansas Secretary of State and conservative populist Kris Kobach fought back against open borders and big business talking points from his gubernatorial opponents during a debate in Johnson County, Kansas on Wednesday.
Kobach — who has earned the endorsements of President Trump and the firefighters union — slammed his opponents, Democrat Laura Kelly and Independent candidate Greg Orman, as each advocated for statewide amnesty for illegal aliens.
When asked about giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens, Kelly said, “I have voted for that, and I’ll vote for it again if I need to.” Orman used talking points from the Chamber of Commerce to defend his push for a statewide amnesty.
“We’re not going to find and deport 11 million people nor would it be economically advisable,” Orman said, as he proposed a plan to allow the more than 70,000 illegal aliens in Kansas to permanently remain in the state.
Kobach, on the other hand, drew a stark contrast to Kelly and Orman’s open borders solution, arguing the need to end in-state tuition for illegal aliens to save taxpayers money and enforce E-Verify for state contractors to ensure that American workers are being hired over illegal aliens.
“Amnesty is not something the state can grant anyway, but that approach where you just say, ‘We’ve got illegal aliens, we’re not giving up and we’re going to accept that,'” Kobach said. “We don’t have to accept that. I’ve advised the president many times on this issue, states can discourage illegal immigration.”
“Giving [illegal aliens] in-state tuition is one thing that we should not be doing. We need to stop doing that and we’re also spending $377 million a year of taxpayer money on giving welfare and public benefits to illegal aliens,” Kobach said.
“We also have three sanctuary counties. I proposed a bill … to end sanctuary counties in Kansas. You can do it really easily, you just take away all state funds,” Kobach continued. “When the county can’t feed at the trough, the county changes its policy.”
“We also need to have E-Verify for all state contract recipients,” Kobach said. “You want to work and have Kansas taxpayer money to have that job? Then you better use E-Verify so that all of your workers are U.S. citizens or are here legally.”
Kobach’s most recent endorsement from the State Council of Firefighters marked a historic turn for the populist-wing of the Republican Party, as unions have generally endorsed Democrats.
Every year, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that Kansas taxpayers are forced to pay about $441 million every year to pay for illegal aliens in the state. The foreign-born population in Kansas makes up nearly seven percent of the state population today.
Full Disclosure: Kris Kobach is a columnist for Breitbart News.